LOS ALTOS, Calif. (PRESS RELEASE – Jan. 15, 2009) – MerchantCircle, the largest social network of local business owners in the nation, today announces the new “Buy My Yellow Pages Ad” promotion to help local businesses cut costs and encourage them to try online advertising. The new promotion is designed to help merchants save money during tough economic times and eliminate the risk many local merchants perceive when they shift marketing budget from yellow pages to the internet. The first program of its kind is already available to free members of MerchantCircle’s 670,000 local merchant network and to all new members.
“With the economy being what it is, it’s important that local businesses try more cost-effective advertising channels, like online advertising,” says Darren Waddell, MerchantCircle VP of Marketing. “While the majority of our members tell us the yellow pages no longer work for their businesses, many are hesitant to completely stop advertising in the yellow book. We believe this promotion will help local businesses take the leap into online advertising and feel safe doing it.”
“Many small businesses know their traditional media buys are not as effective as they once were, but they’re afraid to adopt new platforms and strategies,” said Greg Sterling, founder Sterling Market Intelligence/analyst Opus Research. “This program addresses that hesitation by attempting to remove some of the perceived risk of online marketing.”
While it is always free to join the MerchantCircle network, merchants who wish to qualify for the promotion will select from among eligible promotional packages. Pricing for the promotional packages start at $49 per month and include:
* Local Directory Submission: provides updated local business information on all major online, mobile, and in-car navigational directories.
* Search Engine Marketing: a turn-key solution for advertising local businesses on all major search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com, Local.com, Superpages, and more.
* Build My Listing: professionally-designed custom content (blogs, newsletters, coupons, and pictures) created to attract more local customers.
* MerchantCircle Instant Website: customized domain name and website designed to give local businesses more exposure online.
* “Verified by MerchantCircle” badge: a trust mark on the MerchantCircle network that increases consumer trust in local businesses.
* Newsletter advertising: an easy-to-use email newsletter tool for distribution up to 1,000 local consumers.
New merchants interested in participating may do so by visiting www.merchantcircle.com. Current free members may take advantage of this offer by visiting www.merchantcircle.com/yellow.
Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest social network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a customizable web listing that allows local merchants to attract new customers. More than 15 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines.
Currently, over 670,000 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with other merchants. In addition to its free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of online advertising services including Search Engine Marketing, Website Directory Submission, Web Content Creation, Instant Website Development and Business Verification Services.
MerchantCircle is located on Main St. in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is funded by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Disney’s Steamboat Ventures, and IAC. Learn more at www.MerchantCircle.com